If Kamala Harris and Joe Biden win in November, who might take her Senate seat?

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U.S. Senator Kamala Harris holds an organizing event in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 19, 2019. On August 11, 2020, Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate. Credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo.

If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win as president and vice president in November, Harris will have to give up her Senate seat. Governor Newsom would appoint someone to serve out her term, which expires in January 2023. The political jockeying began nearly instantly after Biden announced Harris as his running mate on Tuesday. 

Who might take her Senate seat? Some big names have been floated, including Congressman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Karen Bass, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. 

“Kamala Harris is one of only a handful of Black women in the entire U.S. Congress, let alone Senate, right? … That is historic in itself and something that he’s [Gov. Newsom] going to be thinking of. We’ve never had a Latino senator from the state,” says Marisa Lagos, Political Correspondent for KQED. 

She says that Newsom’s own political future is part of this conversation too. “He and Kamala Harris are longtime rivals to some extent, as much as they are allies. They had both thought to be eyeing the governor’s office and the U.S. Senate office that she ultimately won. … Having Kamala Harris as the VP choice, if Biden wins, will put her in a much stronger position for 2024. … Newsom has always had his eye on the presidency as well. So this is an interesting quandary for someone like him.” 

Credits

Guest:
Marisa Lagos - politics correspondent, KQED - @mlagos

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Angie Perrin, Caleigh Wells